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#2623522 - 03/14/17 08:54 AM Favourite piece you learned in the first two years
GoldmanT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/18/16
Posts: 56
What's your favourite piece that you learned in your first two years playing? Not sure how far people would have got in that time, maybe grade 4 and below, grade 5 at a push. Classical, or possibly a film soundtrack style.

I've been working hard on a couple of pieces and am looking for some things that I could get up to speed in a shorter space of time. And also because we have friends visiting in a month and it would be good to play them something easier and not worry about messing it up. smile

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#2623529 - 03/14/17 09:11 AM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
johan d Offline
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Registered: 02/20/14
Posts: 1119
Loc: Belgium
That must be Bach's Menuet AHN 114
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#2623536 - 03/14/17 09:32 AM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: johan d]
Sand Tiger Offline
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Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1354
Loc: Southern California
Over the Rainbow from the Wizard of Oz was the first song I learned and remains one of my favorites.

As with many songs with lyrics, there are easy arrangements and not so easy arrangements. I did block chords plus simple melody. It still sounds good to me played that way after five years.
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#2623544 - 03/14/17 09:54 AM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
zrtf90 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 3416
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By GoldmanT
What's your favourite piece that you learned in your first two years playing? Not sure how far people would have got in that time, maybe grade 4 and below, grade 5 at a push. Classical, or possibly a film soundtrack style.
The ABRSM Grades are approximately one a year. Younger starters might need to add the Preliminary Grade for their first year.

Originally Posted By GoldmanT
I've been working hard on a couple of pieces and am looking for some things that I could get up to speed in a shorter space of time. And also because we have friends visiting in a month and it would be good to play them something easier and not worry about messing it up. smile
If time is of the essence this little morsel shouldn't take long. It falls well under the fingers and sounds harder than it is. I think it's a Grade 2 piece.

If you get each 4-bar phrase memorised and up to speed quickly before moving on to the next the transitions shouldn't trouble you at all. If each phrase takes more than a few minutes to memorise and master this is not the piece for you, in which case, what other pieces are you working on or what pieces have you recently mastered?

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#2623547 - 03/14/17 10:04 AM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: zrtf90]
RaggedKeyPresser Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/14
Posts: 847
Loc: Orig. land of Svear&Götar
Originally Posted By zrtf90
Originally Posted By GoldmanT
What's your favourite piece that you learned in your first two years playing? Not sure how far people would have got in that time, maybe grade 4 and below, grade 5 at a push. Classical, or possibly a film soundtrack style.
The ABRSM Grades are approximately one a year. Younger starters might need to add the Preliminary Grade for their first year.

Originally Posted By GoldmanT
I've been working hard on a couple of pieces and am looking for some things that I could get up to speed in a shorter space of time. And also because we have friends visiting in a month and it would be good to play them something easier and not worry about messing it up. smile
If time is of the essence this little morsel shouldn't take long. It falls well under the fingers and sounds harder than it is. I think it's a Grade 2 piece.

If you get each 4-bar phrase memorised and up to speed quickly before moving on to the next the transitions shouldn't trouble you at all. If each phrase takes more than a few minutes to memorise and master this is not the piece for you, in which case, what other pieces are you working on or what pieces have you recently mastered?





That's a lovely little piece.
Putting on a tuxedo and presenting the title before playing, should impress on most guests.
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#2623551 - 03/14/17 10:19 AM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
GoldmanT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/18/16
Posts: 56
Can't see the piece in the post above until I get home (presume it's embedded video) but have been working on Rona Alla Turca, Blue Rondo a la Turk (coincidence!) and a few Chopin Preludes. So maybe grade 4 or lower, really just as long as it sounds nice (and a little advanced harmony, more romantic than baroque) it'll do me. So many piece recommendations are about advancing technique and I specifically want to avoid that and just enjoy playing something for a change!

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#2623553 - 03/14/17 10:24 AM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
bSharp(C)yclist Online   content
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Registered: 02/18/16
Posts: 586
Loc: Orange County, California
Like johan, I enjoyed learning BWV 114. BWV 115 is nice too.
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#2623592 - 03/14/17 12:30 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
Stubbie Online   content
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Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 1396
Loc: Midwest USA
The Chopin Preludes remain among my favorites. You wouldn't go wrong playing one or two of these for your visitors.
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#2623612 - 03/14/17 01:14 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
zrtf90 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 3416
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
I'm looking at what you're working on but I still have no idea where you are with them or what you've finished recently. Alla Turca and "a few" Chopin Preludes would put you around Grade 6. I'll assume they're suitable material for you and that you'll be memorising your recital piece within the month.

I'm wondering what your previous pieces are and why they wouldn't be suitable.

The embedded video was Haydn's Sonata Hob XVI/8, 4th Movement, Allegro.

You might like to look at Grieg's Watchman's song, Op. 12/3, Schumann's Erster Verlust, Op. 68/16 or his Trauemerei, Op. 15/6, if you prefer a more advanced harmony. These are all only a few phrases and very memorable within a month.

If you're into syncopation Gliere's Le Soir, Op. 43/5, is easy to memorise or Delius' Waltz for a Little Girl. They're both harmonically adventurous for their level.

These pieces are all immediately playable, assuming the syncopation doesn't stall you, without any mechanical difficulties and well within a month's work going by the pieces you're currently working on.
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#2623626 - 03/14/17 01:46 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
Qazsedcft Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/15
Posts: 937
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By GoldmanT
Can't see the piece in the post above until I get home (presume it's embedded video) but have been working on Rona Alla Turca, Blue Rondo a la Turk (coincidence!) and a few Chopin Preludes. So maybe grade 4 or lower, really just as long as it sounds nice (and a little advanced harmony, more romantic than baroque) it'll do me. So many piece recommendations are about advancing technique and I specifically want to avoid that and just enjoy playing something for a change!

Well, it really depends on what you're able to handle technically. Not everyone develops the same abilities in the same order. For instance, can you easily do large stretches? How about an arpeggio over a couple of octaves? Large jumps?

Here are some "nice sounding" pieces that I have learned in my first two years, but keep in mind that YMMV.

Anna Magdalena Bach pieces (114, 115, 116, 132, but any one in that notebook will be nice)
Bach prelude in C (BWV 846)
Moonlight sonata 1st mvt.
Chopin A minor waltz (posth. B 150)
Tchaikovsky "The Sick Doll" (op.39 no. 7)
Satie Gnossienne 1
Satie Gymnopedie 1
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#2623627 - 03/14/17 01:48 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
GoldmanT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/18/16
Posts: 56
I got to grade 5 organ many years ago and played guitar off and on since then - only started piano again in January and haven't quite got any existing pieces so solid that I'd want to play them in front of people (not without a whisky first, either for me or for them).

A few of those pieces sound nice but not quite what I'm looking for - even went through the ABRSM lists and it was only a few from the List Cs that caught my attention. Probably the best bet is to go through the Chopin Preludes/Etudes and see if there's something not too long or tricky that sounds impressive.

Cheers,

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#2623786 - 03/14/17 08:25 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
malkin Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 4165
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Early on, I had a lot of fun playing The Siamese Cat Song and then Rubber Ducky from this Hal Leonard anthology:

https://smile.amazon.com/Best-Childrens-Songs-Ever-Author/dp/B010BECO58/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1489537352&sr=8-7&keywords=best+children%27s+songs+ever

There are some other good ones too.
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#2623992 - 03/15/17 02:21 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
JohnSprung Offline
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Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 3986
Loc: Reseda, California

"Whispering" -- the Paul Whiteman hit from 1920. Still in my book today.
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#2624001 - 03/15/17 03:05 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: JohnSprung]
BrianDX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 2111
Loc: First Town, First State
My first Beethoven German Dance in original form. Great piece, as well as a great early milestone...
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#2624076 - 03/15/17 07:24 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
Ralphiano Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/05/15
Posts: 627
I have only been playing 23 months, but, my favorite has been Alexandre Tansman's Final (Conclusion). I submitted it in pretty good form (for me, anyway) for the November, 2016 ABF Recital, and have been improving it through daily playing ever since. I don't anticipate dropping this one in the forseeable future.
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#2624087 - 03/15/17 08:51 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
xSense Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/16
Posts: 27
Scriabin poem op 32 no 1 , underrated piece for sure.


Edited by xSense (03/15/17 08:52 PM)

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#2624655 - 03/17/17 07:36 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
Moonsh1ne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/14
Posts: 266
Loc: NJ, USA
If the audience are not piano aficionados you can't go wrong with Fur Elise wink
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#2624673 - 03/17/17 08:58 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
dogperson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/16/15
Posts: 1958
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By GoldmanT
I got to grade 5 organ many years ago and played guitar off and on since then - only started piano again in January and haven't quite got any existing pieces so solid that I'd want to play them in front of people (not without a whisky first, either for me or for them).

A few of those pieces sound nice but not quite what I'm looking for - even went through the ABRSM lists and it was only a few from the List Cs that caught my attention. Probably the best bet is to go through the Chopin Preludes/Etudes and see if there's something not too long or tricky that sounds impressive.

Cheers,


Hi Goldman
I come from an exact opposite background as you -- I started first with piano and then added the organ. Certainly you have a Head start in learning the piano, but I do want to caution you that the in learning the piano, but I do want to caution you that the technique is so different between the two that you do not want to be impatient with yourself and make too many assumptions The Chopin études are completely out of the question, and there are very few preludes that you can handle right now They really are much more difficult to play well than they look. Look at Numbers four, six and 20

Since you have a strong Organ background, have you considered starting with Bach on the piano? That would give you enough similarities and also highlight the differences between the two instruments

Again I do not want to diminish your enthusiasm and I hope I haven't done that. I just want to encourage you to be patient so that you can make it through the long journey without getting discouraged and quit
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#2624732 - 03/18/17 04:15 AM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
cathryn999 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/15
Posts: 521
Loc: Australia
My two absolute favourites were Arabesque by Burgmuller, and an easy arrangement of Scott Joplin's The Entertainer. I was about 7 and they impressed my rellies no end!
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#2624780 - 03/18/17 10:23 AM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
Isabelle1949 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/15
Posts: 716
Loc: New Orleans, LA
Debussy: The girl with the flaxen hair. ( if I wrote it in french it would be illegible)

What is the piece you had the hardest time with in the first two years:

Bach Invention for me.


Edited by Isabelle1949 (03/18/17 10:26 AM)
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#2624805 - 03/18/17 11:19 AM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
Tiger22 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/14
Posts: 20
Haydn's Adagio in F. I played it last year at my first recital and it was very well received.

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#2625016 - 03/18/17 10:06 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
Tone Deaf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/15
Posts: 64
Loc: Canada

I began as a "mature" adult, and found the first year of lessons rather intimidating. Partly
due to memories of my consistantly failing music classes in junior high school, and a Father
who refused to "waste money on piano lessons for a child with no talent".

But... learn I did and at the end of 2 years my favourites were: Tchaikovsky's The Sick Doll & Scott
Joplin's The Entertainer.

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#2625159 - 03/19/17 02:10 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
Whizbang Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 1485
Originally Posted By GoldmanT
What's your favourite piece that you learned in your first two years playing? Not sure how far people would have got in that time, maybe grade 4 and below, grade 5 at a push. Classical, or possibly a film soundtrack style


It's hard going back in memory that far, but I think CPE Bach's "Solfeggietto" was an early piece for me. It is very fun and has a high impressiveness to difficulty ratio.
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#2625183 - 03/19/17 04:36 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
Terry Michael Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 100
Loc: Cali
+ 1 for The Sick Doll.
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#2625225 - 03/19/17 06:36 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
Wuffski Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 550
Loc: Europe (Northern Spain)
Either I didn't get that you are all kidding, or my progress is even slower than I already thought it would be.
I have had Hammond organ classes for some 4 years as a kid, and as an adult starting to play piano had the advantage to only have had to warm up fingers of the right hand, and was mainly busy with expanding left hand hammering of chords to more independent playing. But most of the mentioned pieces are by one month practicing still out of reach for me.

I could imagine that a raw beginner make it to The Sick Doll, as mentioned, after two years, and then within a reasonable short practicing time of one month. And it is a beautiful piece.

Other beautiful pieces, still played by me, and in my opinion reachable with two years of experience, would be:
Nicolas Miaskovsky "Dialogue"
Cornelius Gurlitt "Study in d-minor", from Opus 82
Fritz Spindler "Song without Words"
L.Köhler "Melody", Opus 190 No 27
Claudia Rojahn "Blätter im Wind"

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#2625247 - 03/19/17 07:59 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: Wuffski]
Qazsedcft Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/15
Posts: 937
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By Wuffski
Either I didn't get that you are all kidding, or my progress is even slower than I already thought it would be.

I wasn't kidding about my pieces (well, maybe I exaggerated slightly because I started the Moonlight at about the 2 year mark), but everyone's progress is different. It really depends.

It's definitely possible to play these after two years, but for that you have to have very good practice habits, discipline, and a good teacher. Since I started, I have always been working on several pieces at the same time. My teacher noticed that I learn new music quickly and kept assigning new pieces so I wouldn't get bored, but at the same time I would work on material of similar difficulty on my own. I must have worked seriously on at least 150 pieces in my first two years (not including reading material and "just for fun" stuff that I tried and then let go).
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#2625445 - 03/20/17 03:31 PM Re: Favourite piece you learned in the first two years [Re: GoldmanT]
squidbot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/17
Posts: 65
I'm slightly over a year in to my lessons and my favorite piece so far is the one I'm learning right now, Chopin Waltz in A Minor B 150 (posthumous) I'd actually read about it in a forum post here asking what the easiest (hah!) Chopin piece was, and this was one of the recommendations. I approached my teacher with it, half expecting him to laugh at me even suggesting I could attempt Chopin at my level, but he thought it was a great idea. It's a really beautiful piece, though it's pushing my ability to control phrasing and dynamics.

Sheet music can be found here:
http://imslp.org/wiki/Waltz_in_A_minor,_B.150_(Chopin,_Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric)

I'm reading from "Chopin - First Book for Pianists" however, as it's printed with larger measures (easier to read and add lots of notes!) and the author prints the decorations over the measure which I find much easier to deal with as a beginner. The book is here: https://www.amzn.com/0739021745

A recording of it being played far better than I can (so far!):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtQRpmaaiCo

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